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Claudia Mejia-Willett

I arrived to the United States in 1966 from Colombia, South America. I have lived in Rochester since moving from Colombia. I graduated from Monroe Community College and then transferred to SUNY Geneseo for my Bachelors of Science in Special Education. While working in Rochester City Schools, I earned a Dual Masters in Special Education and Art Education from Nazareth College. I am married and have two girls in college. I have been retired for six years and continue to be part of the printmaking community and enjoy connecting with other artists through many avenues including the Print Club of Rochester and The Mill Art Center.

From the studio of Claudia Mejia-Willett
From the studio of Claudia Mejia-Willett

I have always been drawn to abstract art. My first love was ceramics, especially hand building. While I was at Nazareth College, I took a printmaking class and was thrilled learning a variety of printmaking processes. One of the printmaking mediums I was introduced to was rubber stamping and wow, I was hooked! Stamping became one of my most wonderful obsessions! Where I started in ceramics, I took off in my printmaking journey.

There are many components that contribute to my art process as a printmaker. One is the tactile element and another is my fascination with exploring different printmaking processes.

Echo, by Claudia Mejia-Willett (lower right) as shown in the exhibition
Echo, by Claudia Mejia-Willett (lower right) as shown in the exhibition

I also enjoy finding used and reused textural items that have been discarded or overlooked. In my mono-print process, I combine both relief and intaglio processes together which is somewhat unusual. I love “breaking the rules”, that is one aspect I love about printmaking!

What I am trying to communicate with the viewer continues to change and evolve. Most importantly is for the viewer to make their own honest connection with the overall visual image and the selected materials used in my prints.

When a viewer connects with my work, I want them to discover the discarded items I selected that previously had no real significance but are now of interest.

Echo, mono-print by Claudia Mejia-Willett included in the Figure/Ground exhibition
Echo, mono-print by Claudia Mejia-Willett included in the Figure/Ground exhibition

My work has changed somewhat due to my great fascination and exploration of different printmaking processes. I used the Gelli plate to create the print in the Figure/Ground show.

From the studio of Claudia Mejia-Willett
From the studio of Claudia Mejia-Willett

I am thrilled with the quality of textures that this plate gives. As I move forward, I will incorporate the use of the Gelli plate with my typical way of creating monoprints. Another way that my work has evolved is that I sometimes focus on a theme or genre. I select and incorporate specific printmaking techniques that best enhance the subject matter.

The most challenging aspect of making art is myself. It is trying to stay in the moment and out of my head. Trying to keep myself balanced and in a positive space without judgement. When I don’t, it tends to impede my process and flow. For me, it’s all about having a positive balance in life. These are my constant challenges.

I am on Instagram and Facebook. I am an old soul. I have to push myself to check my Facebook site but I prefer to play more on Instagram. I enjoy seeing what other artists are doing, as well as following my favorite artists. At this time, I am currently updating my website.

Instagram: claudiamejiawillett
Facebook: Claudia Mejia-Willett

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